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Federal education department releases new data on civil rights indicators

June 30, 2011

The Federal Department of Education has released the first half of its 2009-2010 Civil Rights Data Collection. The survey tracks disparities in education offerings such as AP classes and high-level math and science courses for students in different ethnic and racial groups.

The database was crashing a lot when I tried it this morning, but in theory it allows users to look up individual schools and districts to find a breakdown of students taking Advanced Placement courses and exams and classes in Algebra I and Geometry.

The feds are also tracking the number of new teachers versus experienced teachers and the districts offering preschool programs.

According to an analysis of the data by ProPublica, a nonprofit investigative journalism and public interest research group, more Rhode Island students take Physics (13%) and Chemistry (23%) than the national average  (8% for Physics and 18% for Chemistry), but fewer Rhode Island students take at least one Advanced Placement Course, with just 9% taking an AP class compared to the national average of 18% . The data show 11% of Rhode Island students take advanced Math, slighlty lower than the national average of 15% .

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